Coal Creek Special Education
MTSS (Multi-Tiered System of Supports) is the process to ensure students are receiving the supports they need in the classroom for success and growth in all areas of their development. The Colorado Department of Education defines MTSS as a whole school prevention based framework for improving learning outcomes for every student through a layered continuum of evidence based practices and systems. When a classroom teacher observes a student is not progressing at grade level expectations with the general instruction, based on district and classroom assessments, the MTSS team meets to discuss interventions and set measurable goals to aid the student’s academic growth. The MTSS team is usually composed of classroom teachers, the school principal, and those involved in intervention support. Other specialists, such as a resource teacher, occupational therapist, speech therapist or school psychologist, may be a part of the team, depending on the student’s needs.
The MTSS team will design researched based interventions that will be conducted in the classroom or a small group setting. Each MTSS meeting is extensively documented and information gathered will be shared with anyone working directly with the student to ensure they have the tools they need to effectively support the students learning. After six to eight weeks, the MTSS team will meet again to discuss the student’s progress.
Based on the student’s progress, the MTSS team will determine next steps. It is important to note, a student being monitored through the MTSS process does not necessarily mean it is appropriate to consider a special education evaluation for the student. The ultimate purpose of MTSS is to make sure each student’s educational needs are being addressed so they are receiving instruction in a way that is optimal for them.
What is an IEP
An Individual Education Plan (IEP) is a legal document that establishes goals for a qualifying student and the special education supports needed to accomplish them. An evaluation to determine if a student qualifies for an IEP is completed after sufficient intervention support has been documented through the MTSS process and measurable goals have not been met. There are several ways to qualify for an IEP during an evaluation process. Based on data collected from multiple sources for an evaluation, the IEP team (consisting of the general education teacher, the special education teacher and designee, parents and any other service providers) discusses the findings and as a team determines whether the student qualifies for a disability as outlined by the Colorado Department of Education. With parental consent, an IEP is written by the team to address the student’s needs specific needs to make them successful in the general education setting. Each year, the team will reconvene to discuss progress on goals and work to create new goals based on the student’s progress. Every three years a re-evaluation will occur to determine whether a student continues to qualify or need special education services. Attached are the Procedural Safeguards for clarity of parental rights and regulations.